You write stuff like this. Some clown named Franz-Stefan Gady at the Asia-Pac website The Diplomat was let loose with the sort of minimal and wrong understanding of infantry combat that comes from too much reading and not any doing. (His source of expertise? He has traveled to “war zones” as a reporter. Oooooh. Can we touch the hem of his garment?)
Anyway, he concluded, and some readers thought he really had something, that the US Army is about to revolutionize warfare:
The U.S. Army is introducing a new shoulder-fired weapon that has the potential to change infantry tactics and revolutionize infantry warfare in a way unseen since the Battle of Königgrätz in July 1866. That battle, which marked the beginning of the end of the line infantry attack, saw Austrian troops carrying muzzle-loaders outgunned by Prussian infantrymen carrying breech-loading needle guns.
One aside, that should be right in Gady’s lane if he’s the reader he wants us to think he is — If Königgratz revolutionized warfare, why were tactics entirely unrevolutionized as so-sophisticated Europe blundered into the Great War?
For that matter, if changing to breechloaders is so revolutionary, how long did it take Austria (and all the other nations of the world) to catch up. True or False: every nation worthy of the term “power” was breechloading by 1870?
But wait, we haven’t told you what weapon Gady thinks is going to, we quote, “Change Infantry Warfare Forever.”
The XM-25 counter-defilade weapon, the rump end of the OICW boondoggle, which was simply SPIW dragged into the 21st Century and placed across the shoulders of the rifleman like Christ’s Cross, as if that poor devil — the infantryman, not Jesus — needed another burden.
The Army’s going to blow $100 million on these things over the next five years, Gady tells us. His story is a bit inconsistent internally, at one point suggesting that it makes cover obsolete (!) and at another, quoting a PEO Soldier booster — from 2010, before the weapon’s utterly inconclusive combat deployment — that “our soldiers can remain covered/protected and use their XM25….”
We’re serious about his claims:
…the impact of the XM25 could be revolutionary and fundamentally change small infantry tactics. The XM25 will essentially destroy the value of cover and with it the necessity of long-drawn out firefights. It will also make the old infantry tactic of firing and maneuvering to eliminate an enemy hiding behind cover obsolete.
“Small infantry tactics?” Crap, he’s heard about Colonel Tattoo’s Dwarf Brigade, “Death from Below.” Twenty years of black-budget midgetry down the drain….
More seriously, even if this bloated, intricate gadget works, it’s going to change “small infantry combat” (Lord love a duck!) about as much as any of the other weapons has, from the Macedonian bronze-headed sarissa to the Roman’s Iron Age gladius to the rifle-musket to the machine gun.
Somebody’s been reading too many press releases (and, indeed, Gady’s sources for the capabilities of the awesome XM25 are the manufacturer’s own website, and an anonymous “senior U.S. military official.”)
About the only things that the XM25 claims to do that the 60mm mortar doesn’t already do are:
- Transfer a large sum of money to a defense contractor; and,
- Work (supposedly) without requiring the shooter to learn via expending ammo in training.
The 60 is, of course, going to be too heavy for our new generation of female infantrymen, but this thing isn’t much better. And the 60, as a good old muzzle-loading mortar, is going to work damn near 100% of the time you ask it for a whoonk…. wait for it… BLAM! on demand.
Fortunately, we’re not going to need riflemen (or female riflemen) any more because Ash Carter has redefined the US as a non-fighting power. In fact, we’re not only through fighting, said Carter on a trip where he seemed to accept China’s extended sovereignty of the South China Sea, we’re not even going to be intimidating anyone anymore.
So, why not female infantrymen? It’s not like the current DOD management is planning to fight a war again, ever. And after all, the world has a great record with politicians’ declarations of Peace For Our Time™.